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I Have Found It
“Eureka… what are you…?”
Eureka’s mom stood in the doorway to her bedroom in her robe, looking at her daughter’s nakedness.
Behind her, Eureka’s dad snored and turned over. Her mom was always the lighter sleeper.
“Come here,” said Eureka. Not waiting for a response, she disappeared into the bathroom, came out with a towel, draped the towel over the couch in the living room, and gestured at her mom to come and sit down. Rubbing sleep out of her eyes, she did.
“I wasn’t downtown with friends today like I said I would be,” Eureka whispered. “I… I went to the beach near our apartment. The nude beach.”
Eureka’s mom took her daughter’s hands. “Why did you go to a nude beach?”
“I’ve wanted to tell you… I like getting naked. I know that must sound weird, mom. But, a few days ago, I was undressing to shower, and I had the sudden desire to go out into the hallway – to not keep my nudity confined to just the bathroom or my bedroom. It felt so liberating to walk around this apartment naked. I felt like I was seeing it with new eyes.” Eureka started to shake uncontrollably. It happened to her whenever she was nervous. “If it’s OK with you, I want to be naked here whenever I feel like it. It doesn’t feel right to wear clothes anymore. When I put on a shirt and pants, I feel like I’m a snake trying to crawl back into a skin I’ve shed.”
“You know you can’t live your whole life naked. Jobs have dress codes. Cities have laws. And I won’t go to a nude wedding.”
Eureka blushed. “I know.” Then: “I wanted to tell you now because, at the beach, I met a guy. Nothing happened. But it almost did.” Eureka gestured to the patches of skin she had rubbed vigorously with toilet paper, still red with irritation. “He got on me, not in me. That’s when I knew what I was doing wasn’t right. That’s when I knew, despite his kind words and attitude, what he really wanted from me. I should’ve known sooner when, looking him in the eye at the beach, I lowered my gaze. He couldn’t hide it.”
“What did you do?”
“I ran. got out from under him and shut myself in his bathroom. When I came out, he was asleep. He couldn’t wait for me. So I left him and back here.”
“Thank God you’re safe.”
Eureka was confused. “I thought you’d be angry with me, mom.”
“Years ago, I would have been. But you’re not a kid anymore. You’re an adult. And an adult takes responsibility for their actions. I don’t condone what you did – lying and hooking up with a stranger – but, ultimately, there is nothing that I can do: Ultimately, your choices, and the consequences of those choices, are in your hands. And, I am proud that you made the right choice. I’m proud that you saw the man for what he was, even if it took what it did for you to see it.”
“When I was cleaning myself, I realized how precious life can be. The guy’s seed was on my fingertip.” Eureka extended an index finger. “In the right place, it would’ve grown into a life. But I washed it down the sink.”
“There will be other life.” yawn “Thank you for telling me this, Eureka. You are becoming the woman I tried to raise you to be. Regarding you being naked here: I say you can be, but talk to your father about it too. If he agrees: Keep putting a towel on every surface you sit on. And wash your hands regularly. I won’t have this lifestyle making you sick and killing you.”
“I don’t see it as a lifestyle,” Eureka said, in as non-combative a tone as she could muster. “I understand where you’re coming from mom, and I’m glad – I know I can depend on you to tell me what I need to hear, and I don’t want to keep any secrets from you.” A moment of silence. Then: “I see being naked as merely being who I am supposed to be – being who God made me to be. Nothing more, nothing less. When I’m naked, I’m seeing myself as God made me.”
“Still: There are reasons God allows clothes.” sniff
Eureka smelled it too.
Getting up from the couch, Eureka saw that she had soiled her towel.
“I’ll clean it,” Eureka said, mortified. She looked at her mom, who got up off the couch too. “Thank you for this. Talking with me. I needed it.”
Eureka’s mom put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “Thank you, Eureka. For coming to me. I want the best for you.”
Eureka looked at the soiled towel again. “I still have a lot to learn about what is ‘the best.’”
“God is giving you the desire to be naked for a reason, Eureka. Don’t let things like this,” she pointed to the stain, “keep you from doing what, in your heart of hearts, you believe, with prayer and discernment, to be right. No one is perfect. We all fall short in one way or another. And God speaks to us all in one way or another. You don’t want to be thought of as ‘weird’ for choosing to be naked? God is speaking to you through your nakedness. There is nothing ‘weird’ about that.”
The end of Chapter 3